You know the largest aftermarket car products shows are in town when you see show exhibitors wheeling tires through the casino floors.
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, and AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo, opened their trade show floors at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo Center, respectively, Tuesday.
They are in Las Vegas for the 21st straight year, and about 140,000 people are attending the shows dedicated to car replacement products and customized add-ons through Thursday.
The event is open to automotive industry professionals and not the general public.
More than 2,400 companies are exhibiting products in 11 categories at SEMA, and show representatives estimate there are 2,000 new products.
Here’s a sampling of some of the new items at this year’s AAPEX show:
Bluffton, S.C.-based Mobile Power, manufacturers of high-power spotlights, flashlights and jump-starters, showed its monstrous ResQ searchlight with a 3,100-foot range and 35 minutes of run time and an upgrade to its successful Lightbolt flashlight, the Lightbolt 2.
The Lightbolt 2 has two swiveling extensions and a work lamp and will be available to the public next week. The light has a magnetized bottom end for easy attachment to a vehicle and a rechargeable lithium ion battery with 10 hours of life on one charge.
The ResQ has a 300-amp jump-start system and can be plugged into a wall or a USB port to recharge.
It’s probably a good idea to be prepared on a trip to Nevada’s snowy high country with Hopkins Manufacturing’s new 26-inch snow brush, available at discount department stores for $6.
A handle below the brush allows for easy gripping to de-ice a car windshield, and the double-blade design makes it as easy to use for lefties as for right-handed scrapers.
A V-notch on the blades makes de-icing wiper blades easier, as well.
It’s a perfect accessory for those hot Las Vegas summers — a car seat with an embedded fan that circulates air through a series of compartments, blowing cool air on a driver or passenger’s back, legs and thighs.
Hayward, Calif.-based Wagan Corp. produces the Cool Air Car Cushion, which retails for about $65 on the company’s website.
An upgrade from a product first released in 2006, the cushion is operated through standard car power systems.
You’ve seen the dashboard hula dancers. Welcome the Hello Kitty version of the product, distributed by Maryville, Tenn.-based Chroma.
The company has a variety of iconic pop culture decorative add-ons for cars, with the Hello Kitty hula dancer available at Wal-Mart for $10.
Pine Brook, N.J-based Wexco Industries not only showed a new product, but it promised to give a percentage of sales of the AutoTex Pink windshield wiper blades to charity.
Aimee Rothstadt, communications director for Wexco, said 10 percent of sales go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation as part of its “Wipe Out Breast Cancer” program. Available in 14 inches to 28 inches and rear blades of 11 inches to 16 inches, the pink wiper blade frames sell for $20.
While SEMA and AAPEX are automotive products shows, there are a few cars on the trade show floor, including this two-seat Elio Motors three-wheeled vehicle — which the U.S. government technically classifies as a motorcycle.
The car, manufactured in Phoenix, has a three-cycle, 50 horsepower engine, gets an estimated 85 miles per gallon, a top speed of 100 mph and retails for $6,800.